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Natural Beauty with Rubus

Rubus is the Herb of the year for 2020 !! It is also one of my favorite summer plants. Rubus is the name given to a genus of flowering plants in the rose family. The most common ones (which I love) are Raspberries and blackberries.

I live in the Pacific Northwest where summer berry picking is a tradition. We all have our favorite "berry spot" and the number one rule is you never tell where it is. This is actually more of a joke but there is a little bit of truth in it as these spots are usually in the woods or along country roads. Mine is in my backyard where the plants also act as a "natural barbed wire" protecting my property.

Berries are also useful natural beauty ingredients. They are a source of vitamins and antioxidants. Antioxidants are important for healthy skin and hair because they fight free radicals that age our skin. They also have skin calming and anti-inflammatory properties. I like to use them in creating facial masks and hair rinses. Here are a few recipes for you to try at home.

Raspberry Leaf Astringent

Raspberry leaves are rich in vitamins B and C and a number of minerals, including potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. They also have high antioxidant properties. Raspberry leaf tea is a popular health tonic for this reason. You can find dried leaves sold in bulk at many natural food stores or dry your own by simply putting the fresh leaves in the sun to dry for a few days. This astringent is especially good for oily skin because it is a bit more acidic and drying and will also help restore your skin’s natural pH level.

Yield: 4 ounces

2 tablespoons dried raspberry leaves or 1/3 cup fresh leaves

1 /4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 /4 cup rose water or distilled water

Place the raspberry leaves and vinegar in a glass or ceramic bowl and let sit overnight. In the morning, strain the mixture and discard the leaves. Add the rose water to the vinegar solution and stir. Pour into a clean bottle with a tight-fitting lid.

To use: Apply to your skin using a clean cotton ball, after cleansing. Then splash with cool water and pat your skin dry.

Fresh Berry Cleanser

Fresh berries contain anthocyanins, a natural chemical in plants that helps reduce inflammation. Blackberries, raspberries, and dewberries also contain alpha hydroxyl acids that are the same key ingredient in many over-the-counter acne skin care products. This recipe is for a gentle cleanser that will help exfoliate dead skin cells and surface debris, leaving you with a clearer, smoother complexion.

2 tablespoons fresh or frozen berries of your choice

1 tablespoon light oil such as almond, jojoba or sesame

3 tablespoons witch hazel

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into a clean jar and cover. You will want to store this cleanser in the refrigerator because it contains real berries. It should keep for a week or two. If you feel the cleanser has gone bad it is always best to create a new batch.

To use: Use in place of soap to clean your skin.

Rubus Leaf Mouth Rinse

Fresh berry leaves such as blackberry or raspberry make an effective mouthwash with antiseptic properties. This recipe is perfect for those who do not wish to use alcohol but want a clean, fresh mouth. It is as easy to make as a cup of tea.

Yield: 8 ounces

1/4 cup fresh leaves, chopped or 2 tablespoons dried leaves

1 cup boiling water

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Place the leaves in a ceramic or glass bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let sit until completely cool. Strain off the liquid and discard the leaves. Add the lemon juice and stir well. Store this mouthwash in the refrigerator. It should keep for one to two weeks.

To use: Pour about 4 teaspoons into a small glass and rinse your mouth for 30 seconds.

Blackberry Leaf Hair Rinse

Blackberries make a wonderful addition to facial masks and can also be used as a mild dye for dark hair types. The green prickly leaves make a cleansing hair rinse that is a good cure for dandruff and will leave your hair clean and shiny. If you cannot find fresh blackberry leaves, look for dried leaves in the bulk bin of your local natural food store. You can also use herbal tea that is made from 100% blackberry leaves.

Yield: 12 ounces

For more information you check out the latest "Herb of the Year" book published by The International Herb Association. I have them for sale here on my site. Also I have more Recipes and ideas in my books - Have a beautiful day!!

xoxo Janice

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